#NotYourShield: The GamerGate Saga Continues
While nothing of note has happened on the gaming media side of events, it looks like the gaming community is once again trying to be heard. And this time, the voices come from a multitude of diverse sources. #NotYourShield is a recent trend that has cropped up on Twitter, coming from several ‘minority’ groups, including women and people of different races, claiming that they are being ignored in the conversation regarding #GamerGate.
Recent articles from the media, as a response to the community’s unrest, have included petitions to ‘end harassment’ and articles claiming that the ‘gamer is over’. More often than not, these articles attempt to frame this issue as being one of straight white male gamers, or male gamers as a whole, not wanting to include women in the game industry. Many gamers have bitten back, retorting that this isn’t about the gender of anyone and is instead about wanting legitimacy and transparency in game journalism.
The Quinnspiracy and Anita Sarkeesian incident have created entrenched sides: with one side claiming that they’re under fire for ‘being women’, whilst the other claims that this is about legitimate criticism. While I definitely believe there are some bigots out there who are genuinely sexist against Anita or Quinn, the bulk of this issue and people’s concerns lies with journalistic integrity. That, and the gaming community is tired of being reprimanded for the actions of the few horrible people.
#NotYourShield is an attempt by the worldwide gaming community to show that this isn’t just male gamers who are speaking about gamergate, and this isn’t an issue of hating feminism or not wanting women in the community. As I wrote in my piece about the inclusionary nature of gaming, this is a war against the corruption and bad actions of anyone in our game industry. So it’s good to see that various people are letting their voice be heard to stand together for this issue. Female gamers are speaking up to show that they will not be used as a reason for the gaming community to be scrutinized.
Some people are claiming that the tweets are actually not coming from women or ethnic groups, and are instead made by ‘4chan sock puppets’, which seems like a very harsh thing to insinuate. When we begin to assume that anyone who speaks up against the gaming media, female game industry persons, or game journalism is either a man or a man pretending to be a woman, then we’ve truly lost sight of fairness. There are most certainly female voices in this community that are either on the side of GamerGate, or are at least trying to provide an element of fairness to the discussion, such as GamerHeadlines’ own Sarah. Of course, like with any Twitter trend, some tweets and Twitter accounts are fake, but not all are, and to deny that a female gamer can possibly have an opposing viewpoint to yours is very ignorant.
The gaming media means well, I’m sure, but the recent mud slinging and vitriol about the notion of gamer has done more harm than good, and even insulted the minority groups it claims to represent. Hence why I’ve said before that callous generalizations don’t help anything. Hopefully, this new twitter trend can be noticed, amongst the already valid voices concerning the gamergate saga.